Tropical Accessibility

There are many things I thought I would never see happen for wheelchair users that I turned out to be wrong about…

  • I never thought skiing would be wheelchair accessible, but it is.
  • I never thought African safaris would be wheelchair accessible, but they are.
  • But what I REALLY never thought would happen: wheelchair accessible eco-tourism. I am once again blissfully wrong!

Brazil has put effort into Accessible Tourism programs. These don’t just let you look at the amazing landscapes from afar, but actually engage in nature!

Different communities are making changes to vastly improve accessibility to nature. Now there are a wide variety of locations and activities disabled travelers can participate in. There are accessible hikes, beaches, and even water sports like rafting! Even the coral pools off Pajuçara Beach have become accessible using specially equipped boats.

Wheelchair accessible dirt ramp on ecotourIt is really neat to see how these groups take initiative and ingeniously make nature accessible while still respecting and conserving nature. For example, this ramp… I’m sure it would not stand up to ADA regulations but it preserves the environment, culture, and integrity of the entire experience. It’s these types of efforts that are so amazing to see (for me! at least!!)

This is such a good example of using resources you have available to make creative solutions. It in no way detracts from the natural beauty, but rather incorporates the beauty of a raw incarnation of human ingenuity. It stays true to the spirit of eco-tourism and offers disabled tourists an authentic experience.

What other opportunities have surprised you for being accessible?

Duct Tape Surfing

Making summer plans and concerned that you might have to miss out due disability?  There’s an app… Ther’s an office supply for that!
Note: Technology Tuesday is usually reserved for the most cutting edge, sci-fi-esque technologies that are applied to various disabilities and just blow your mind. But this use of low-tech Duct tape is substantially mind blowing to merit a break from the norm.

Two weeks ago marked the summer solstice. If you are a Beachologist, you probably observed this holiest of days by escaping the heat by hitting the waves!

While Beachology has been a little exclusive in the past, it has been increasingly accessible and welcoming to people of all abilities. Here is yet another example, and let me tell you it’s breathtaking!

Pascale, a mother of two in Australia, was paralyzed (paraplegic) 18 years ago. Her two sons surf and when she expressed to one of their surf buddies that she wished she could go with them…WT DuctTape surf 2

…they went out and bought some duct tape  and made her dream a reality. I present you Duct Tape Surfing.

The video of their journey is a MUST SEE. This summer they are doing a Legless Summer Trip, surfing all over Western Australia to inspire others. They raising money for this trip over the next week and you might even get a chance to surf with Ty–aka Duct Tape Man.
Visit www.DuctTapeSurfing.com to see how you can support their pilgrimage.

I’m so sorry. I’m really on a role with this metaphor! But I promise I’ll stop; I can restrain myself. 
Following the edicts of the Book of Duct Tape: With Duct tape, all things are possible.
Or was it the 11th commandment: Thou shalt surf with Duct tape?
Okay, now I’m done. 

DuctTape scuba divingTo be completely serious, this journey is equal parts unbelievable and awe-inspiring. I love that Ty helped Pascale literally get her feet wet and ultimately realize her dream.

They have have also dived together and it seems that these two can do anything!

Personally, I hope that at least 1 the 5 donors that get a surf lesson with Ty has a disability. It would be so cool if Duct tape surfing took off!